Friday, May 30, 2008

Thongs and Mustaches: A Deadly Combination

Don't look now but everyone's favorite first baseman has hit .339/.481/.726 in May to raise his OPS to a team leading .949 OPS. Are all-star considerations in order?
If its working why not take it a step further, Jason? Read the full post, after the jump

Sunday, May 25, 2008

C'mon guy - save some balls for the other out of towners!

First off, a little announcement - I will be heading out of town for a week (Vegas and Seattle), so the blog may be a bit quiet for the next week or so. Don't worry - I'm not quitting the blog. As a matter of fact, NYYSI will be visiting Safeco field in Seattle next Friday night to see the woeful Mariners take on the surging Tigers. Should be fun.

Anyway, on to the post. Our friend "CanoHoops" from the NYYSI message board visited the city from out of town this weekend and wanted to share his story of Friday and Saturday's games with the Yankee Stadium Insider readers. Click here to read the full story.

In a separate thread, Matt (CanoHoops) mentioned that he got a ball in batting practice on Friday night - that is common enough, as a lot of fans get balls in batting practice. Then, he came back on Saturday with a foul ball from during the game. Lucky guy right? Well, it turns out that he has a history of getting balls when going to baseball games.

Wrigley field, I caught a foul ball in the 10th inning a couple years ago.
Fenway Park 2005, Robinson Cano coming off the field throws me a baseball
Yankee Stadium today, I caught an Ichiro batting practice homerun.

Three of the most historic parks, and I've got a ball at each!
I have gotten a couple of foul balls in my years, but this is pretty amazing, especially considering that he got ANOTHER ball after he created that post. I'm sure there are a lot of jealous fans out there who want to go to a game with Matt.

Hey, maybe Matt has secretly started my foul ball tracker project? Maybe Matt will be kind enough to tell us what section he was in if you ask him over at that thread in the forums.

One other note - Kaybli's copy of Paint Shop Pro went corrupt on him, which is why he hasn't been contributing his hilarious photoshops lately. If anyone wants to write in and help donate some money so the poor guy can buy a new version, feel free. I for one miss his work. He tried doing it with the regular Paint and it just isn't the same.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm sad to say it, Yankee fans just aren't as into it as Red Sox Fans

Last night was the 4th game I attended this season. It was a crisp game, on a ridiculously chilly late May evening in the Bronx. The game was played in a reasonable amount of time, the pitching was good and the result was a New York Yankee victory.

The crowd was impressive (right around 50,000) but now to the negative - there was a distinct sense of apathy abound last night. Case in point - bottom of the 9th inning, A-Rod up with 0 outs and the winning run on first - the decibel level in the Stadium barely rose a notch. If this was Boston and ManRam was up, the New England Drunks Red Sox Fans would be chanting "Lets Go Red Sawx" and the atmosphere would be raucous. Not the case for A-Rod (and the at bat ended up being just as quiet as the crowd was with a strikeout).

I'll admit that the fans got riled up into a frenzy when Joe Girardi channeled Billy Martin with his hat-throwing tirade - who wouldn't? As soon as Joe G calmed down and exited stage right, the crowd was quiet again. Instead of jubilant enthousiasm about the impending walk-off hit that Robinson Cano was due to deliver, there was a nervous murmur throughout Yankee Stadium.

It was the 7th inning of a 1-1 game and the wave broke out. It was the bottom of the 9th and the crowd was quiet. So, I have to ask - have New York Yankee fans lost their swagger?

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Terry Crowley is lucky he's in f*cking baseball UPDATE

Bill over at the Baltimore Sun contacted YES and here is their response:
Out in the production truck (isn't that how all these stories begin), an audio guy pulled up an audio clip regarding Crowley for the edification of his producer to determine whether it was appropriate to air. Somehow, through the magic of television, the Crowley comment seeped from the sanctuary of the production truck out to the throngs of folks out there in Yankees TV Land. YES says it apologizes to its viewers. And, I imagine, to Crowley.
So there you have it. Internet FOR THE WIN!

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Terry Crowley is lucky he's in f*cking baseball" makes it on the air on YES

UPDATE (9:34 PM): Minor correction. This is still bad for YES, but it was not a producer, or anyone on the YES crew, apparently. It was Earl Weaver in the famous manager's corner clip as an anonymous commenter pointed out. Someone must have had it up on Youtube in the booth. Still embarrassing for YES, but not as bad. Thanks for the comments pointing this out to me! Scroll to :44 of this clip to hear what made the air.

Live, on the air, during the third inning tonight, John Flaherty and Ken Singleton were having a conversation about Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley. All of a sudden, a disembodied and robotic sounding voice takes over the broadcast and you hear as clear as day "Terry Crowley is lucky he is in fucking baseball". Some other insults follow, including the teams that released him.

I suspect this was the producer meaning to talk in the ear of Ken Singleton, but it was somehow picked up on the hot mic. In any case, the smoking gun follows (WARNING - NSFW DUE TO LANGUAGE):

The awkward silence is AWESOME.

Look "Crow" wasn't a great player by any means, but he was about average as a part-time player. His career OPS+ was 104. I'm sure there are many coaches out there who were worse players.

I have a feeling the YES network will be apologizing to Mr. Crowley for this gaffe. Thats just uncalled for and sloppy broadcasting, even if it was just a YouTube clip playing.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5/20 weather update - steady rain likely

UPDATE (5/20 5:42 PM): The rain is quickly moving through the area as can be seen in the radar below. What lies in its wake is cold, drizzly, damp conditions. The bulk of the rain will be through the area by 7:00 - 7:30, but it will remain uncomfortable. If I was a betting man, I would wager that the game will be played. I would certainly suggest not to play A-Rod in these conditions though (as I mentioned below).

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It is going to be tough to get tonight's game in, at least according to this radar:

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radar accurate as of 5/20/08 at 3:20 PM

Even if they do play the game, Joe Girardi should seriously consider scratching the returning A-God from the lineup. All we need is for his quad to tighten up a bit and then have him slip on wet grass and be out for another month.

I will update this as I see fit, but I doubt the game will start on time, if at all.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Saturday, May 17, 2008

YES Network and the DirecTV Blimp give an aerial tour of the new Yankee Stadium

Some pretty awesome shots provided by the blimp on the YES broadcast today. Check it out:

The most notable thing from this video is HOW few tier reserved rows there are. Looks like season ticket holders like myself are really going to get screwed when the relocation package comes out.

I can't believe that the new Stadium is taking shape so quickly. Decent food, modern bathrooms, $15 beers. I can't wait!

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Friday, May 16, 2008

The NY Media and fan's obsession with scapegoating Jason Giambi

I love how the mainstream sports media is writing articles about the "struggling first basemen in NY".
(I hate to pick on Borden, because I like his coverage, but this is just a perfect opportunity to get on my soap box for a minute).

Carlos Delgado has an OPS + of 78 and Giambi is at 116.

Giambi's OPS is 16% better than the rest of MLB

Derek Jeter? 103
Jose Reyes? 96
Robinson Cano? 60

But yea, Giambi is really the guy to call out here.

When will sports writers stop looking at batting average as the end all and be all statistic?

Giambi has scored 16 runs and driven in 20 runs. Hideki Matsui has scored 16 runs as well, but has only driven in 18.

C'mon media, lets not play scapegoat with Giambi here because he is batting under .200.

From a subjective standpoint, I can't tell you how many line drives I have seen Giambi hit this year right at people. I am not letting him off the hook for the balls that would have been hits if not for the shift, because that is his own fault, but it is something to consider as well.

Thankfully, Giambi notices this as well :
"I'm not striking out so I know I'm pretty locked in," Giambi said. "It's just a matter of getting some hits, getting the ball to drop for me. I've got to stop hitting the ball at people. I know what I can do. I know I can make it happen."
Perhaps he is aware that his BABIP is a ridiculously low .141. Even in his dispicable 2004 season, his BABIP was .223.

Please get a clue people. Jason Giambi is not the problem with this team, no matter how many steroids or HGH he took in the 90's and early 2000's. The guy has been playing hard every day, and has been playing the field every day when nobody thought he could. Even with an under .200 BA because of bad luck and hitting into the shift, he is still one of the most productive Yankees.

IF he stays healthy, he is going to end up being one of the top run producers on this team all season long. Just wait and see.

For the final time - Giambi's average is low. He isn't struggling. Struggling was Robinson Cano in April.

Giambi has not changed his approach, he is getting on base and slugging the ball. Giambi simply is hitting into the teeth of the shift and hitting for a bad average on balls in play. Giambi was struggling a few years ago when he was on the cusp of being sent to the minors.

In Giambi's own words:
"I can't think about that - I'm not thinking about that at all," Giambi said recently. "I just want to focus on taking good at-bats. I just want to do what I can right now and the rest of that stuff will take care of itself."
I am not excusing Giambi for batting below the Mendoza line, trust me. He gets paid 26 million this year to bat below .200. That is inexcusable at best. Sadly, Giambi has been one of the Yankees most productive hitters, .180 average or not. That is why the Yankees are a sub-.500 team right now.

And now, a picture of Jason Giambi with a group of Asian girls.

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found that on a blog called Yogi Brewer. True Story.

UPDATE: After further research, it has come to my attention that when Jason Giambi gets into an extremely bad slump, he rocks a thong and it fixes everything. Another true story. Gotta love the big G.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Have tickets to Subway Series 2008 Game 1 tonight? Bring your rain boots

Update (7:22 PM) - Game has been postponed due to rain. No word on makeup, but I assume it will be a day night double-header this weekend.

UPDATE (5:16 PM) - The Yankees have created a section of their website dedicated to keeping track of the weather. Check it out!. The rain continues to quickly move Northeast, leaving damp, drizzly, COLD conditions behind. Have fun in the rain tonight, folks!

UPDATE (3:24 PM) - The rain has become more spotty in nature, but it is still very unpleasant out there (and wet) and will be for the remainder of the evening. I still think it is going to clear out a bit earlier than the published forecasts indicate, but I have a bad feeling the powers that be will make the decision based on those published forecasts and will cancel the game. We'll have to wait and see, but it doesn't look like it will be a pleasant experience tonight.

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Radar as of 3:30 PM on Friday afternoon

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Radar as of 10:30 AM on Friday morning

Bad news for folks holding tickets to the Yankees vs. Mets game on 5/16/08 at 7:05 PM. Today is going to be the definition of a rainy day.

The National Weather Service says:
Rain shield will advance to the NE during the morning and should be categorical everywhere by noon. Rain will taper off from west to east after midnight probably come to an end across eastern sections late tonight. Plenty of cloud cover will also remain through the night.
The only hope for New York baseball fans is that the precipitation moves through faster than expected and the game can begin after some sort of delay. Otherwise, we are most likely looking at a double-header on Saturday or Sunday (weather permitting on THOSE days).

This has been an awful season thus far weather-wise for Yankee fans (and Mets fans). Lets hope it improves this summer!

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another update on Alan Horne's biceps injury - return imminent

Of course, this is via our good friend, Bill.
Talked with Alan today. He threw his scheduled workout to live hitters and said everything went very well again. He said his command was good as he was able to locate all his pitches down in the zone on the day. He went on to say he continues to have real good run and sink on his FB's, both his breaking balls were sharp today, and his change-up continues to be good. He said no one really squared up on any balls hit. He seemed most pleased again with the fact that his arm continues to feel strong while he is working as well as when he's through with his workout. He says he's ready to go...just waiting on getting the green light. He should be scheduled to throw to live hitters again either Thursday or Friday and then get into a game next Monday. Continuing to look for good things ahead.
Alan sustained this injury on April 10. Barring any further setbacks, he will be returning to live action on May 19. If the Yankees do give him that "green light" for Monday, it will be a total of 39 days missed to the partial tear (otherwise known as a strain) of the biceps muscle in his pitching arm. This is interesting to me, because I haven't closely followed an injury of this type to a pitching arm. It is fascinating that the muscle has healed and regenerated completely with that type of injury in under 40 days. The Yankees training staff is presumably top notch with all of the money they throw around, so I guess I'm not too surprised.

Many pundits predicted that Alan could have an impact in the Yankees bullpen in the 2nd half of 2008. Of course, that was before the bullpen had become an unexpected strength of the ball club. After this injury, it would probably be better for Alan to spend another full season in AAA and then make the team out of Spring Training next season. It is doubtful that he feels that way. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Obviously, this

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Patience is not a virtue for the 2008 Yankees

Obviously, a lot of the Yankees offensive woes can be attributed to losing Alex Rodriguez (2007 MLB VORP leader with a ridiculous 96.6) and Jorge Posada (8th in MLB in VORP in 2007 with a 73.4 ) for weeks, and not just days.

In some rare spare time today at work, I have decided to look at the team as a whole to figure out what is different offensively this season from years past. Immediately, a disturbing statistic popped out - the Yankees are currently 23rd in Major League Baseball in walks. Ever since the early 90's the Yankees have been the gold standard in patient ball clubs and have always been among the team leaders in walks taken. For example:

* 2007 - 4th in MLB in walks
*2006 - 3rd in MLB in walks
*2005 - 3rd in MLB in walks
*2004 - 2nd in MLB in walks

Yes, the 23rd rank is likely skewed by the fact that two of the Yankees more patient hitters have been on the shelf for an extended period of time. Yes, A-Rod was 13th in MLB in walks in 2007 and Jorge Posada was 35th. However, Jason Giambi, notoriously one of the most patient hitters in baseball was injured most of last year, and he currently leads this year's team with 22 walks.

So, what has led to this decrease in walks? Lets take a look at some of the key culprits, outside of the injured A-Rod and Jorge. Derek Jeter (only 6 BBs so far) is being far less patient - perhaps trying to make up for the absence of A-Rod and Jorge? Abreu's walk rate has continued its steady decline that started in 2007. Strangely enough, Robinson Cano who has been flailing wildly at pitches all season long and who doubled his career average in walks last year, is not a main culprit. He has "already" walked 9 times this season.

Has the Yankee approach to hitting changed this year? Are they swinging earlier in counts, "being more aggressive"? Are the 2008 Yankees seeing less pitches per plate appearance than they were in the past two decades? I am sure that this kind of study is right up thehardballtimes' alley. I'm hoping someone over there will catch wind of this post and go the extra mile that I'm just not capable of going (I only have so much free time while "on the clock").

It is interesting to note, that Joe Girardi has said early and often that he wants the team to be more aggressive. Unfortunately for Joe G. this aggression has not shown up on the base-paths where the Yankees are 28th out of 30 MLB teams with only 12 steals, and a terrible 10 caught stealing in only 22 attempts. Are they taking out their aggression in the batters box to please their manager since they can't cut it on the bases?

There are a lot more questions here than answers, but some interesting points regardless. I am a Joe Girardi supporter through and through, but this lack of patience has to be a bit unsettling for Yankee followers everywhere. Lets just hope that all of this writing was for nothing and the Yankees start earning walks - and in turn start scoring runs - when Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are back in the fold.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lookout, Tubby - you may have some competition for the post game spread!

Came across this article from the NY Post today hinting that David Wells wants to return to the Yankees for round III.

team spokesman Team owner Hank Steinbrenner had this to say:
"I've thought about it," Steinbrenner told The Post. "I saw him on TV, and I did think about it when I was watching."
In true NY Post tabloid fever fashion, there were no direct quotes from Boomer about the possibility of returning to the NY Yankees, but just returning to baseball in general:

"I'm in shape, I'd just have to fine-tune a couple of things," Wells said. "I'd need a little bit of time, but not much. Physically I feel fine, real good."

The article also mentions that the 10 year anniversary of Wells' perfect game is fast approaching, at which time I ran into the bathroom, threw on some anti-aging cream and then put some headphones in and blasted Eve 6's Inside Out.

But seriously, if the Yankees could sign Roger Clemens to a RIDICULOUS contract in 2007, surely they can sign David Wells to an incentive laden deal in 2008, when they don't have a 4th or 5th starter who can get past the 5th inning or earn a win.

We need innings right now and he has a rubber arm. All we need is a 5th starter. Maybe he can do it?

PECOTA thinks he can be right around replacement level.

What do you think??

C'mon some of you 1990's Yankee nostalgics must be out there and agree with me! This is so unlike me, but I just want a guy who can give some innings and not walk the ballpark. Boomer is that guy.

I know one person who wants no part of Boomer returning to the Yankee clubhouse:

Even though Boomer is on a diet due to his diabetes, he is still a threat to Tubby's alpha-male status as clubhouse eating champion.

Editors note: After reading some anecdotes similar to mine about the egomaniacal beat blogger on the discussion boards, I have decided to return to the low-road and bring back the fat jokes. They never go out of style.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Yankee Stadium Construction set to conclude on 2/17/09

Farewell Yankee Stadium

There is a GREAT article on about the New Yankee Stadium today, and I recommend it to any baseball fan. Many nuggets within this article (none of which pertaining to tickets or relocation packages). Here are the highlights:

And around the construction site, many of the upbeat workers are wearing dark blue buttons with the name of the famous ballpark in white capital letters set above this date: Feb. 17, 2009, less than two months before Opening Day.

"That's when we're turning the stadium over to the Yankees," said Harry Olsen, the project manager for the company that's overseeing the construction and site.

Pretty cool to have a completion date! Right around pitchers and catchers next year, the New Yankee Stadium will be complete.

Every seat in the new Yankee Stadium will have a full view of home plate. (Stephen Chernin/AP)
It will seat 53,000, but somehow, as learned on a recent tour that traversed almost every nook and cranny of the new facility, every one of those seats has an unencumbered view of home plate, even though the new stadium reaches about the same height as the existing one.

Most are much closer to the field than the current stadium, where the catcher squats about 70 feet from the backstop. In the new park, that distance will be about 50 feet. The grade, which seems nearly flat at 35 percent in the current lower deck, has been changed to a much steeper 45 percent. That's akin to a pitcher peering down from a mound 10 feet above the ground, as opposed to a mound that's about six feet high. There are also many fewer rows in each deck.

All of the above is some good news for the people who sit in the main reserved in the outfield and wonder why they are paying way more than most of the people in the Stadium, but get a worse view.
It is airy and open. The congestion in the concourses and the problems of ingress and egress in the current stadium will be left in the past.
You had me at airy and open. I'm sick of being molested when attempting to exit the current "Cathedral" (appropriate nickname for all of the wrong reasons?)

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Monday, May 5, 2008

Yanks fan runs over Sox fan with her car

A woman accused of running down a man in her car after a Red Sox-Yankees argument in a bar never hit her brakes as she accelerated toward the small group he was in, a prosecutor said Monday.

"She never braked, and she accelerated at a high speed for about 200 feet. She went directly at this group of people," prosecutor Susan Morrell said of Ivonne Hernandez, who is charged with reckless second-degree murder in the death early Friday of Matthew Beaudoin, 29.

Hernandez was ordered held without bail after being arraigned Monday in Nashua District Court. The charges, including aggravated drunken driving, are felonies, so Hernandez could not enter a plea.

Update by Ross: This guy gave me a call and said she was just doing what any real Yankee fan would do in that situation. Read the full post, after the jump

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sadly, IPK will have to pleasure himself in lesser facilities...

Kevin Devaney of LOHUD is reporting that Ian Kennedy has been demoted to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre to make room for Darrell Rasner on the 25 man roster.

Just a couple of weeks ago, he was reportedly getting jerked off in a major league bullpen (thanks again for the laughs, David Cone). Now he will be riding the bus to face teams like the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs.

As bad as this sounds for IPK, it may be worse for us Yankee fans. With Hughes on the DL and Kennedy back in the minors, it can't be long until we see the return of this guy:

Your move, fake IPK

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

Friday, May 2, 2008

Take ya hood off. Seriously

Rare occasion - I was at the game tonight. The following video chronicles the experience I had in my "assigned seats". I'm going to predict that yelling guy behind me had a cigar in his mouth.

Yeah Wang. C'mon Wang. AWWW Wang. I'm really sorry in advance for how annoying that was. Just think about if you had paid money to sit in front of that. It may not sound as bad on that video as it was in person. I get that you pay money to yell and cheer, but this was outrageous.

Anyway, the 7th inning stretch comes and another typical Yankee fan starts yelling "hats off" and "take ya hat off". Sadly, I am not wearing a hat, so I cannot oblige. However, I am wearing a hood, because it is about 45 degrees with a windchill in the 30's. Around a quarter of the way through God Bless America during the 7th inning Stretch, I hear "Take ya hood off". I thought I was imagining things. After all of these days of making fun of "take ya hat off" was somebody REALLY yelling at me to "take my hood off". After hearing it a few times more, I was convinced - someone was REALLY demanding that I take my hood off.

Guess what? I didn't take my hood off, and I proceeded to laugh hysterically for the rest of the inning. Take ya hat off guy has really progressed to "take ya hood off guy". What's next? "Take ya hairpiece off"? Sadly, I didn't have my cell phone cam to chronicle this experience.

Seriously, this is getting out of hand.

I'm going to miss the old Stadium. I feel like stuff like this won't happen in the new Stadium...

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump

What makes you "the typical Yankee fan"

A couple of weeks ago, I touched on the "typical Yankee fan" (I'll spare everyone that creepy picture of the guy with the cigar).

Now, let me relay what I feel are the key aspects that make you "that guy".
(I am going to try to keep these timely).

1) You have already booed A-Rod this season - c'mon guys, that is so 2005
2) You booed LaTroy Hawkins for wearing "Paulie's" #21
3) You think that the reason the Yankees have been losing in the playoffs all of these years is because they didn't have "clutch" players like Scott Brosius (career OPS + of 94)
4) You honestly believe that a player who is a "homegrown" Yankee will help the team win more than a free agent or someone acquired via trade
5) You were still chanting "we want Bernie" last year
6) You have ever, in your life, uttered the words "Fire Torre" (in a serious manner). I didn't have a problem with people who wanted Torre replaced as the manager of the Yankees ( I was one of them), but certain people said "Fire Torre" in a certain way that made them the typical Yankee fan. Maybe this doesn't translate well on a blog.
7) Hank Steinbrenner is your hero
8) You wanted the Yankees to trade for Johan Santana in the offseason
9) You were at the game the other night and you booed Phil Hughes
10) Peter Abraham is your idol.

UPDATE (5/3/08 10:00 AM) - I can't believe I left out 11) You yell "take ya hat off" as soon as the PA announcer talks about rising and honoring America for God Bless America. We get it, you think we should honor our country. Everyone does it in their own way - it isn't your job to make everyone in the stadium take their hat off. Take a chill pill, dude.

(This list can go on and on. Please add more in the comments section)

I run into these people all of the time at games, on the internet, in the workplace, etc etc. I'm sure many of these people are smart, funny, friendly, etc etc. However, when they step into Yankee Stadium, the become that cigar guy.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums! Read the full post, after the jump
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